Helping Hands Ministry
Life saving assistance in times of great need
Karen Outreach provide emergency and short term provision of food, clothing, blankets, baby formula and basic survival necessities for children, their families and surrounding villagers, during times of acute crisis and acute sickness. Emergency relief is essential for those underprivileged and oppressed. These people live without what most of us often take for granted, resulting in much suffering and sickness. Debilitating diseases, land mine casualties and everyday tragic accidents leave those already suffering want, in acute crisis-we are here to provide relief and hope. Though we often provide financial assistance, it's our aims to move beyond handouts looking for sustainable solutions and empower the people themselves to be part of a solution.
- One of Karen Outreach Ministries is to Kay Ghee, a severely crippled young woman who came to live in the Lemon Garden about seven years ago. Maria rescued her from an extremely bad situation, where she was kept as if an animal. Maria shouldered her care, later Anna choose to care for Kay Ghee, when little Jabez was rescued by Maria and needed all her attention. Today Kay Ghee is married to a former Sunshine Orchard student and they have a baby girl. A handicap friendly house was built for them in the Lemon garden by an Australian team headed by Nhung and Don Briden. An electric wheelchair is making it easier for Kay Ghee to move about and we often watch as Kay Ghee is out on the cement paths in the electric wheelchair with her sweet baby on her lap. Maung So Thein, Kay Ghee's husband, cares for Kay Ghee and the baby, and is the main person responsible for our water system maintenance.
- Another person we assist is an elderly Baptized man in his eighties, who we affectionately call Pupuu("grandfather" in Karen), and who is a land mine victim. His wife recently passed away. She had a stroke, but revived and was baptized before passing away. His daughter cares for her Pupuu, and her mentally disabled brother by gathering plastic bottles to recycle.
- Another family being aided from Karen Outreach is "The crazy man" or the man with the "purple scar" To us he is neither crazy or scary, but a person who Jesus died for. He is married to a young sweet sister of a Sunshine Orchard student and they have five young children. Their newborn has a birth defect and born with an imperforate anus, and unable to pass stool through the rectum. The father is dependent on medication in order to keep sane and when the time comes for him to have the medication refilled-he can be very scary to be around. Once upon a time...when this happened and he was out of his mind; I told Paul that I would drive the truck, so that he would be free to intervene incase he would become violent...it was a one hour drive to the refugee camp, where they would refill his meds, and we trembled a little, as we all piled into the truck, saying a prayer for God to be with us, we headed down the road. Soon he became irate and Emily decided to sing...sing she did, the whole way, about Jesus in the Karen language, even the Karen national anthem...our friend's heart was touched and he wept, soon he joined her in hearty singing, in between his sobs-we praised God! He has not always been labeled "The crazy man", when he married his wife he was well and it was after becoming a soldier and experiencing mental trauma that his mental state altered, and he is very sorrowful for his present situation, hoping for a cure.
- The blind man often come walking in his bare feet feeling his way down the road, from one of the nearby villages. he comes to ask for rice or other needs. When the children see him coming, they take his hand and gently leads him to the house where he receives a cup of water as is the custom. When we first came and ministered among our neighbors he had a baby girl who was severely malnourished and sickly to the point of death. We provided the family who lived in a tiny bamboo shack with their children, grandmother and grandfather with nourishing food. It was a sad day that we brought the blind father to the hospital...he had never been seen by a doctor before, his blindness had progressed for ten years, now he was unable to see but a slight movement in the distance. The doctor sadly looked at us and said "I'm sorry, it's too late, if he had come a couple of years ago...we could have saved his sight...it's too late" the reason he had never seen a doctor was fear. He was afraid to go through the Thai soldier check point on the way to the hospital. He was born in Thailand but no one had followed through in helping him to obtain legal documentation.
- More recently we have taken in a woman with a two month old baby. The husband left her because he did not want to take responsibility for a child... and his family asked her to leave. She is from northern Thailand but have no knowledge as to where her village is, has no contact information for her family. She is a sweet middle aged woman who is tenderly caring for her baby. She is living in the Lemon Garden.